Spritz up! L'Oréal launches Yves Saint Laurent feminine fragrance Libre

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

More than 1,500 variations were made before finalising the Libre fragrance
More than 1,500 variations were made before finalising the Libre fragrance

Related tags: L'oréal, Yves saint laurent, Fragrance, Fragrance brands, Lancôme, valentino, Perfume, feminine fragrance, Innovation, Western europe

Beauty major L'Oréal has launched its YSL perfume Libre after eight years in development, marking part of a flurry of fragrance innovation that it hopes will spruce up Western Europe growth.

L'Oréal’s latest YSL perfume, a twist on the masculine fougère structure made using diva lavender – a cultivar from Provence, France – and vanilla and orange blossom, was now available across travel retail outlets in Europe, Middle East, India, Africa and the Americas. The brand, fronted by pop icon Dua Lipa, would be rolled out in Asia Pacific travel retail from November 1.

The initial concept for the latest feminine fragrance kick-started in 2011, with 1,570 variations made before completion.

Anne Flipo, the perfume master behind the launch, said: “From the raw accord to the bottle, it was a long journey.”

Livening up Western Europe

The YSL Libre launch comes as part of a wider innovation push in L'Oréal’s fragrance business – touted as important in driving the company out of a flat sales environment in Western Europe​. Whilst the region pulled in €4.21bn in sales for L'Oréal’s first-half (H1) earnings, it only generated 1.9% sales growth and represented the slowest-growing market for the beauty major.

Speaking in the company’s financial earnings call last month, company chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Agon said three fragrance launches in 2019 – Lancôme Idôle, YSL Libre and Valentino Born in Roma – would help this lull.

“You know that of all zones, the one that is most important in terms of fragrance is Western Europe. So, we really believe that for the luxury division, for example, the launch of these three fragrance initiatives will definitely be very important,”​ Agon said.

Just behind Lancôme Idôle

The YSL Libre launch comes less than a month after the Lancôme Idôle launch on August 22​, a floral feminine fragrance fronted by US actress Zendaya Coleman.

Idôle was launched globally, including Asia Pacific, and available throughout regular and travel retail outlets. 

Valentino's Born in Roma duo fragrance - one for men and one for women - was also already available in travel retail outlets across Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. This fragrance launch would see a series of airport events in October and December this year.

Related topics: Brand Innovation, Fragrance

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